Presidents of 5 CSU campuses — California Maritime Academy, Northridge, Fullerton, San Bernardino, and San Francisco — have announced they will retire this year or next year. The Los Angeles Times points out this is on top of
the 2011 installations of new leaders for San Diego State, San Jose State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and an interim appointment at Cal State East Bay.
Searches for all 5 positions are expected to be completed, and appointments made, by early next summer.
Despite state budget woes, and CSU's repeated student fee increases, and the annual decrease in real dollars of staff salaries, CSU continues to prioritize executive pay:
Cal State leaders were criticized this summer after they decided to pay Elliot Hirshman, the new president of San Diego State, an annual salary of $400,000, $100,000 more than his predecessor. That vote followed the board's controversial decision in January to pay $380,000 to the new president of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Reed and other officials said the salaries were necessary to attract talented administrators for the jobs of running large campuses and raising millions of dollars in private funds.
Gov. Jerry Brown disagreed, and several lawmakers have proposed limiting trustees' ability to set compensation of campus presidents.
Retiring San Francisco State President Robert Corrigan doesn't seem to think California's colleges are a bottom-of-the-heap destination:
California's Master Plan for Higher Education has long been the envy of other states. Its colleges are still sought-after, despite the state's dismal economy, said Corrigan, who attended a recent meeting in Boston of university presidents and chancellors.
"There's hardly a state that's not dealing with the kinds of issues we are, although they may be more pronounced in California," the San Francisco State leader said. "We have what had been a strong economic base, a large state with a large population and very smart people. I don't think it will be a situation that prevents us from getting good candidates."
The article mentions a 10% yearly turnover rate for public and private colleges in the US, citing the increase in the age of college presidents. A report from the American Council on Education (ACE) shows an increase in age of college presidents from 1986-2006. The executive summary for ACE's 2007 edition of American College President states:
The average age of presidents increased from 52 years in 1986 to 60 years in 2006. More telling, the proportion of presidents who were aged 61 or older grew from 14 percent in 1986 to 49 percent in 2006, suggesting that many institutions will lose their presidents to retirement in coming years.
The report also notes an increase over that period of length of time in the presidency:
Presidents had served an average of 8.5 years in office at the time of the 2006 survey. Length of service has increased since 1986, when the average time in office was 6.3 years.
- Presidents are bowing out at some Cal State schools (Los Angeles Times)
- American College President, 2007 report (American Council on Education)